For a Dry Home, Auto Club Recommends:Clean Roof, Gutters Now

Insurance & Consumer Tips

(Los Angeles, Feb. 9, 2005) — As Southern California homeowners recover from last month's deluge of rain, weather forecasters say they should brace for even more wet weather this weekend. The Automobile Club of Southern California reminds homeowners that some roofs, gutters and home exteriors may have been damaged during recent storms and should be inspected before more rain hits the region.

"Leaves and other debris that may have built up in rain gutters or roof seams can block the flow of water. That water build-up can potentially trickle through small roof cracks and cause leaks inside the house," said Cortland Ray, vice president of claims. "If you clean up the debris before it rains, you can identify needed repairs early and minimize damage."

Here's a homeowner's checklist to minimize exterior home damage and interior damage from leaks:

  • Outside drains: Clear debris. Make sure that water drains away from the home's foundation.
  • Rain gutters and downspouts: Clear debris, check for loose connections, and see that water drains away from the foundation. If it doesn't, consider installing downspout extensions to redirect the runoff.
  • Roof: Remove debris. Look for shingles that are missing, damaged, or misaligned, particularly on the ridgeline. Carefully inspect flat roofs and areas where flat and pitched roofs intersect. Check for water stains around nails that haven't been caulked or sealed.
  • Roof flashing: Make sure that flashing — the sheet metal used for waterproofing — has been installed around pipes, satellite dishes, air-conditioning ducts and heater pipes, bathroom and kitchen vents, dormers and vented ridges, turbines, telephone and cable lines, chimneys, and skylights.
  • Metal vents or chimney coves: look for rusting.
  • Exterior walls: Check for peeling paint or water damage on wooden surfaces. Look for cracks in masonry walls.

The Auto Club's affiliated Interinsurance Exchange has offered homeowners insurance since 1983. For additional tips on preventing water damage, check the Auto Club's January/February edition of Westways magazine or visit

The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest AAA affiliate, has been serving members since 1900. Today, Auto Club members benefit by the organization's roadside assistance, financial products, travel agency and trip planning services, highway and transportation safety programs, insurance products and services and automotive pricing, buying and financing programs. Information about these products and services is available on the Auto Club's web site at